FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) - Port officials say Alabama must upgrade its port facilities to take advantage of the expansion of the Panama Canal.
The Alabama State Port Authority has launched a $360 million improvement program in Mobile that will prepare it for the larger seagoing vessels that will be using the canal.
Hal Greer, director of the Florence-Lauderdale Port Authority, says the state must become serious about investing in inland waterways.
Greer says business could be increased significantly if the port had a crane with greater reach and indoor warehouse storage.
Cline Jones, executive director of the Tennessee River Valley Association, says that ideally, the new state Inland Waterways office would provide grants to public ports to prepare for increased river traffic.